From size and culture to academic approach and faculty access, there are dozens of factors that differ among business schools.

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Why We're Different


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We encourage prospective students to prioritize their decision criteria. The decision to pursue graduate school is significant and should provide a lifetime return on investment; thus, the effort in understanding the important characteristics of schools will deliver dividends throughout your career.

What sets the Tepper School and our MBA program apart? Three important factors that influence students' academic experience and career success:

Leadership + Analytics = A Powerful Career Advantage

We are one of the few MBA programs able to deliver a high level of preparation and training in both leadership and strategic analytics. The combination equips our students to confront complex business issues within the context of team and organizational leadership. We view our role as preparing graduates for the next 40 years of their career, and our decision-making framework emphasizes mastery of complexity alongside the ability to lead organizations and teams.

Because we remain among the smallest of the top 15 business schools, the Tepper School MBA program is able to provide personalized leadership coaching and mentoring. Your Leadership Toolkit is strengthened through the Accelerate Leadership Center, coursework and experiential learning, as well as team and student projects. Likewise, the organizational behavior, ethics and communication coursework is sequenced to parallel team-oriented courses, presentation courses, job/internship interviews, as well as the fall case competition season. Our students excel at strategic thinking, executive communication, competitive presentations, high-stakes negotiations and conflict resolution. The Accelerate Leadership team of coaches, mentors, instructors and executives provides the base for leadership preparation and growth.

Our reputation for exceptional analytics is renowned. Tepper School MBAs are highly sought after for their strategic abilities in analytical frameworks and complex decision-making.

Your Analytical Toolkit is built by courses, tools, team projects and experiential learning that give you analytical tools that integrate ongoing application. Our standard for analytics exceeds the business school norm (we think it’s more than simply taking a few quant classes). You will first be given the tools for economic understanding, optimization, predictive and prescriptive modeling, as well as responding to uncertain, complex business issues. Combined with your leadership skills preparation, analytics is part of the dual career advantage that will set you apart from your peers.

Access To Carnegie Mellon University Courses And Professors

The Tepper School does not have departments, and this means that our students roam freely across Carnegie Mellon’s campus. Access to university resources means the ability to take courses at any of the world-renowned, top-ranked programs, such as computer science, robotics, life sciences, design, engineering and entertainment. We share an important trait with Carnegie Mellon — a genuine love for collaboration. Tepper School students are encouraged to go beyond the business school border and seek academic, research and social connections among fellow students, faculty and researchers. There are five joint and dual Carnegie Mellon degrees offered at the business school, and additional academic partnerships, such as capstone and project courses, are available at the university’s seven colleges.

A Course Structure Rare Among Business Schools

The Tepper School MBA program structures the two-year MBA coursework differently from many other business schools. Our curriculum emphasizes mastery of management fundamentals in year one, prior to the selection of electives. We are unapologetic about resisting the trend of offering optional electives immediately upon students’ arrival. Rather, our students invest the first three mini-semesters in mastering fundamentals such as economics, finance, operations, quantitative analysis and organizational behavior. 

It’s this integrated view of business that leads to better decision-making, and better prepares students to choose electives that support key career goals.   The BaseCamp orientation experience introduces students to their academic and career options and provides the context necessary to link coursework to career goals. Likewise, the coursework is structured to give students the necessary skills and knowledge relevant for the fall interview and summer internship schedules.